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This study is set out to examine problem facing teaching and learning genetics in higher institution. The study adopted the descriptive research of the survey type, and was conducted in selected higher institutions in Abeokuta Ogun State. The higher institutions include Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Crescent University, Lafenwa, Abeokuta, and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ojere, Abeokuta. The sample was made up of 300 students randomly selected across the three institutions. Questionnaire was used in collection of data. The data for the study were analysed using mean and students T-test methods. Result showed that the effective use of instructional materials (61.6%) and interest of learners (71.6%) has a significance influence on the performance of student in genetics. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended that ministries of education (Federal and State) in conjunction with education institutions in the country should organize seminars and workshops to keep biology teachers abreast of the application of interaction patterns for instructional delivery in order to enhance the understanding of the students and also lecturers should endeavour to make teaching more learner-centre by encouraging co-operation and team work among learners.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Background of the Study
Statement of Research Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of Study
Scope of the Study
Definition of Terms
Difficulties in Learning Genetics
Nature of Scientific Knowledge
Common Misconceptions in Genetics
Complexity of Genetics: A Macro-Micro Problem
The Language and Terminology
The Mathematical Content of Mendelian Genetics Tasks
Area of Study
Sample and Sampling Technique
Instrument for Data Collection
Validity of Research Instrument
Method of Data Collection
Procedure for Data Analysis
Data Analysis and Interpretation of Results
Analysis and Discussion of Data
Discussion of Findings
Conclusion and Recommendation
Recommendations for High Institution Students in Learning Genetics
Suggestions for Further Work
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Biology is seen as a natural science subject whose scope ranges from microscopic organism to the biosphere that is ecosystem (Okusoand Tartiyus, 2004).Biology is described “as the scientific study of life”.It is a discipline with different branches ranging from genetics evolution, ecology and so on and is therefore recognized as broad (Campbell, 2008).
Teaching is a professional art of imparting knowledge from one person (teacher) to another (learner) using various methods or skill (methodology).Hence, teaching and learning go hand in hand as of two sides of a coin. Thus, there is no how teaching is discussed with exclusion of learning(Campbell, 2008). Learning on the other hand is seen as permanent relative change in behaviour as a result of experience(Falk, 2012).
Genetics is a branch of biology or study of genes, its characteristic and properties (Akanni, 2016). Genetics is a branch of science that deals with the scientific study of behaviour of genes, heredity and variation in living organism. It is also an aspect of biology that studies nature and mechanism of inheritance in living organism (Akinnubiet. al., 2012). Genetics as the scientific study of heredity and hereditary variations. The inclusion of genetic (study of how character are transmitted from parent to offspring) in secondary and tertiary institutions biology curriculum shows the importance of the course to the society (Campbell, 2009).However, with the great importance that the course offers student academic performance continues to dwindle for many years now in this discipline.
Research findings showed a poor understanding of the processes by which genetics information is transferred from teacher to students; a lack of basic knowledge about the structure involved (e.g. gene, chromosomes, cell;) and widespread uncertainty and confusion among Nigerian students of various levels especially tertiary institution and among the population in general. (Akinnubi,et. al., 2012).
This problem is not limited to Nigeria alone, Michael (2009), stated that, despite the national efforts of the United States to improve Science Education. Students of United States continue to lag behind their peers as high rate of under-performance in genetics, mathematics. In general was at the increase. This showed that the poor performance of students in tertiary institution in genetic is endemic. Michael (2009) discovered that teaching and learning of genetics has become a tough task which teachers of biology tend to avoid and students have found it to be a monster ought to be avoided rather than discipline to be engaged.
Nzelum(2010), opined that different reasons are responsible for students poor performance, some of which are due to the abstractness of certain aspects of biology, lack of understanding on the students’ part of certain biological concept and terminologies. As a result of failure experienced in the genetics aspects of biology students tend to avoid genetics and teacher also attempt to ignore the topic citing various excuses. In lieu of this, it is pertinent to look into the problems facing teaching and learning of genetics in high institutions of learning
1.1 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Several biological topics were identified by their level of difficulty in terms of instruction by teachers, as well as the difficulty which student have in learning the topic (Akinnusi, 2012).
Knippels(2002), argued that genetic is generally described by most student as the most difficult aspect of biology in higher institutions. It has also been discovered that most students see genetics as the most difficult aspect of biology. Therefore, there is a great need for a critical examination of the situation so as to proffer the necessary remedy to the awkward phenomenon.
Almost 100 years after the coming of the terms ‘genetics’ (William Bateson in 1906) and ‘gene’ (Willelm Johansen in 1909), the field of genetics has much expanded to cover many areas beyond merely the study of inheritance (Chattopadhyay, 2005). Many science education researchers advocate that genetics instruction raises important political, economic, ethical and educational questions. Members of society must receive an effective education and develop an adequate understanding of the concepts and processes involved in genetics in order to appreciate these questions and their answers (Sadler et al, 2006). Also, they will be better able to understand subjects discussed in the media and be better prepared to participate in major decisions.
In this study, the reviewed literature on science education has indicated several major reasons as being problematic when learning genetics. It has been noticed that these different problems are not isolated, but are in a way all related to one another and can reinforce the difficulties students experience (Knippels, et. al., 2005). Students face problems in the abstract and complex nature of science knowledge, their own ingrained misconceptions, and the large amount of context. Knowledge of the extensive genetic terminology is required for understanding a classic genetic connect these probabilities which biological phenomena (Knippels et al, 2005). However, students ability to deal with formal concepts in a meaningful manner is connected with their level of intellectual and cognitive development.
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to seek ways of improving teaching and learning of genetics and thus, combat the problems of poor performance through students’ motivation and deployment of skills and instructional materials to boost academic performances of students in genetics
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is of great significance as it will provide insight into how improve student interest and performances in genetics and by extension other related discipline such as ecology, system
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research will cover biology students of the following institutions.Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.Crescent University, Lafenwa, Abeokuta.Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ojere, Abeokuta.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the general attitude of students to genetic as a topic in biology?
- Is there any significant effect of instructional material on student academic performances in genetics?
- What are the possible problems facing teaching and learning genetics?
- Is there any solution to problems facing teaching and learning genetics?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
HO1: There is no significant effect of students’ attitude toward genetics on their academic performance in genetics
HO2: There is no significant effect of instructional materials on student academic performances in genetics
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Problem:Something that is difficult to deal with.
Teaching: The work or profession of a teacher who impart knowledge to other people.
Learning: Knowledge gained through reading and study.
Genetics:Genetics is a branch of science that deals with the scientific study of behaviour of genes, heredity and variation in living organism
Biology: Natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their functions and structures.
Keywords: PROBLEM FACING TEACHING AND LEARNING GENETICS IN HIGHER INSTITUTION
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